Politics and International Studies


Emily Bell BA, MA, PhD, AFHEA

Photo of  Emily Bell

Research Associate in Digital Humanities


I am Research Associate in Digital Humanities on the 'Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks In Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840-1914' project.

I undertook my undergraduate studies in English at the University of Warwick, and my MA and PhD at the University of York. I have worked as a pedagogical researcher using, adapting and evaluating the Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (TESTA) method, and as an Associate of the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York.

As a literary scholar and cultural historian, my broader research explores the complex environment in which nineteenth century writing was disseminated and understood. In 2018 I was a British Association for Romantic Studies/Wordsworth Trust Fellow at Dove Cottage, working on archival material connected to William Wordsworth and his neighbours in Grasmere, examining the relationship between the local community and Wordsworth Trust from the 1890s to the present. In 2019 I am undertaking a Michael J. Connell Foundation Fellowship at the Huntington Library, California, working on the letters of Charles Dickens’ circle in America.

I am Communications Committee Co-Chair for the international Dickens Society.

Through computational analysis, OcEx also crosses the boundaries that separate digitised newspaper corpora to illustrate the global connectedness of nineteenth century newspapers. OcEx uncovers how the international was refracted through the local as news, advice, vignettes, popular science, poetry, fiction, and more. By linking research across large-scale digital newspaper collections, OcEx offers a model for data custodians that host large-scale humanities data. As part of the project, I am currently working on The Oceanic Exchanges Cook Book: Histories, Structures and Access to Digital Newspaper Archives. I am part of the Media, Memory and History research group, the Cultural Currents 1870-1930 research group, and DH@Lboro.

I am also working on the Oxford edition of Dickens’ later short stories with Michael Slater for Oxford University Press, and editing Dickens After Dickens for White Rose University Press, which explores the ‘Dickensian’ through different lenses. I am co-editing a special issue of Victoriographies for the 150th anniversary of Dickens’ death with Claire Wood (Leicester).

My PhD thesis examined representations of Charles Dickens in the period 1857 to 1939, arguing that both the period and the texts themselves have been critically overlooked and treated as homogeneous in the history of Dickens’ reputation and biographical archive. I analysed biographical discourse including Dickens’ speeches and journalism in the period 1857 to 1870, John Forster’s Life of Charles Dickens (1872-74), auto/biographical writings by Dickens’ family from 1880 to 1939, institutional forms of commemoration in the twentieth century, and writings by Dickens’ collaborators and colleagues George Augustus Sala, Edmund Yates, Percy Fitzgerald, Marcus Stone and Wilkie Collins.

Alongside my research in history and literature, I am interested in the role of social media and digital tools in teaching. I’ve published on using blogging in humanities teaching and using Twitter in the classroom for the Higher Education Academy-funded project Blogging Beyond the Classroom, and Forum Magazine.

At Loughborough, I teach the undergraduate module What is History?, a team-taught module that deals with how we define History, trends in historiography, and public representations of History.

Articles and book chapters

  • ‘Evidence and Invention: The Materials of Literary Biography.’ A Companion to Literary Biography. Ed. Richard Bradford. Wiley and Blackwell, 2018. 309-23.
  • ‘Dickens, Mary Angela.’ The Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction. Ed. Kevin A. Morrison. McFarland & Co., Inc., 2018.
  • ‘Crime and Detection in Oliver Twist.’ The Dickens Magazine 8.3 (2018): 24-25.
  • ‘The Dickens Family, the Boz Club and the Fellowship.’ The Dickensian 113.3(2017): 219-32.
  • ‘A Lost Autobiographical Sketch.’ Wilkie Collins Journal 14 (2017).
  • ‘Blogging in Humanities Teaching.’ Forum: Enhancing Learning and Teaching 40 (2016): 18-19.
  • ‘Zola, Emile (1840–1902).’ The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Ed. Stephen Ross.Taylor and Francis, entry published May 2016.
  • Peer English: (Re)Negotiating Victorian Biography (2015). A refereed annual journal produced by the Department of English at the University of Leicester and the English Association. Guest editor with Emma Butcher (University of Hull). Introduction: 5-10.

Reviews (selected)

  • Keridiana W. Chez, Victorian Dogs, Victorian Men: Affect and Animals in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Dickens Quarterly 35.2(2018): 164-67.
  • Alex Zwerdling, The Rise of the Memoir. Notes and Queries 3.1(2018): 467-69.
  • Márta Minier and Maddalena Pennacchia (eds), Adaptation, Intermediality and the British Celebrity Biopic. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 32.2 (2017): 419-33.
  • Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology: Fortieth Anniversary Edition, translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.4 (October 2016): 471.
  • Anne Chansky Ricia and Emily Hipchen (eds), The Routledge Auto|Biography Studies Reader. Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.4 (October 2016): 477.
  • Karen Bourrier, The Measure of Manliness: Disability and Masculinity in the Mid-Victorian Novel. Disability and Society 31.6(2016): 852-53.
  • Julie-Marie Strange, Fatherhood and the British Working Class, 1865–1914. Reviews in History (April 2016): review no. 1926.
  • Maria DiBattista and Emily O. Wittmann (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Autobiography. Notes and Queries 63.1(March 2016): 169-70.
  • Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins (eds), Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture. Forum for Modern Language Studies 51.4 (October 2015): 507.
  • Lucinda Hawksley, Charles Dickens' Favorite Daughter: The Life, Loves, and Art of Katey Dickens Perugini. “What are you reading?” Times Higher Education (16 April 2015): 57.
  • M. Beaumont and M. Ingleby (eds), G.K. Chesterton, London and Modernity. London Journal 40.1 (March 2015): 80-82.

Outreach writing